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Old 22.02.2015, 14:54
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Voluntarily quitting my job

After 5 and a half years at my job, I've decided to quit and plan to write my "Kündigungsbrief" in the next day or two, such that it will be delivered by the end of the month. After that, there will remain 2 months of work until my last day.

My ability to work autonomously has been reduced to a level I find unacceptable and I've sat down on numerous occasions with my boss and my boss' boss, once in the presence of HR, to try and find a solution. I have full support of my boss' boss, but my direct supervisor feels threatened and has taken to reversing my work plans and actions. The latest reversal will make it difficult to meet very demanding goals and it will result in even greater pressure on me than I am already under to deliver results.

The work relationship with my boss is quite strained. He threatens to get even with me when I get advice from HR or talk to his boss about difficulties. The latest is refusing to do the yearly internal employee evaluation for me which he's done for all the other members of our group. Meanwhile, I get lauded from my boss' boss for the quality of my work. Luckily I have two "Zwischenzeugnisse" (employee evaluations) that attest to my being highly knowledgeable, competent and comittted etc.
I'm fully aware that there could be repercussions when it comes to RAV. After reading advice in Beobachter, it seems that benefits could be denied for up to 3 months for someone who voluntarily leaves the job, but it's quite rare to be completely denied benefits.

I'm also aware that tough times lie ahead and I've given this a lot of thought. I have a 2 year non-compete agreement which means I will be leaving a 30 year career, probably permanently, and will head into the unknown. However, I don't have any qualms about whether this is the right decision. It would be nice to hear from EFers on their experiences, and I expect there'll be some advice, whether I want it or not!
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:08
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

Already one question. If you have been there more than one year, the notice period (from both sides) would be 3 months and not 2 as you mention. Do you have something else in your contract?

A comment on the non-compete. Even though you will (hopefully) get some comments/suggestions on the non-compete clause from EF, you really need to see a very sharp labour lawyer to review your contract and to understand what this means for your ability to find another job. There are a lot of Federal Court decisions on what can and can not be done when an employee leaves or is let go.

Good luck.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:16
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

Whatever situation you are in: first get a new job, then resign.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:27
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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Already one question. If you have been there more than one year, the notice period (from both sides) would be 3 months and not 2 as you mention. Do you have something else in your contract?

A comment on the non-compete. Even though you will (hopefully) get some comments/suggestions on the non-compete clause from EF, you really need to see a very sharp labour lawyer to review your contract and to understand what this means for your ability to find another job. There are a lot of Federal Court decisions on what can and can not be done when an employee leaves or is let go.

Good luck.
My contract stipulates 2 months' notice.

Regarding the non-compete, if I found the right job then I would probably fight it since it's not possible to remain in my field otherwise. But there doesn't seem to be much by way of jobs to be had in my field, so this may not come up.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:30
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

Yeah, as difficult as it is, it is much easier to get a new job while still employed. Perhaps give yourself a dedicated 6 months of job searching now and hang there for that time and then move to a new job or resign if necessary.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:32
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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After 5 and a half years at my job, I've decided to quit and plan to write my "Kündigungsbrief" in the next day or two, such that it will be delivered by the end of the month. After that, there will remain 2 months of work until my last day.

My ability to work autonomously has been reduced to a level I find unacceptable and I've sat down on numerous occasions with my boss and my boss' boss, once in the presence of HR, to try and find a solution. I have full support of my boss' boss, but my direct supervisor feels threatened and has taken to reversing my work plans and actions. The latest reversal will make it difficult to meet very demanding goals and it will result in even greater pressure on me than I am already under to deliver results.

The work relationship with my boss is quite strained. He threatens to get even with me when I get advice from HR or talk to his boss about difficulties. The latest is refusing to do the yearly internal employee evaluation for me which he's done for all the other members of our group. Meanwhile, I get lauded from my boss' boss for the quality of my work. Luckily I have two "Zwischenzeugnisse" (employee evaluations) that attest to my being highly knowledgeable, competent and comittted etc.
I'm fully aware that there could be repercussions when it comes to RAV. After reading advice in Beobachter, it seems that benefits could be denied for up to 3 months for someone who voluntarily leaves the job, but it's quite rare to be completely denied benefits.

I'm also aware that tough times lie ahead and I've given this a lot of thought. I have a 2 year non-compete agreement which means I will be leaving a 30 year career, probably permanently, and will head into the unknown. However, I don't have any qualms about whether this is the right decision. It would be nice to hear from EFers on their experiences, and I expect there'll be some advice, whether I want it or not!
Follow your heart, you can't go wrong. Some of the best decisions came from not necessarily following the most logical way and usually, the path to success is the one least travelled by others.
As you mentioned, the only clause you ought to contest is the non-compete clause....but maybe something far greater lies ahead in a different field/career. Either way, I wish you much success and happiness.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:37
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

I find that putting together a budget/financial plan for the next 12-24 months before you leave helps alleviate a lot of the stress money-wise at least so that you know where you stand. That also gives breathing/headspace to think about other things.

No one should have to put up with an abusive work situation, but I would consider strongly coming clean with your boss' boss right before you hand in the letter. He/she seems supportive of you and may be able to change the situation for you (move you to a different group?) - he/she would probably not want to lose you for a number of reasons.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:45
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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Whatever situation you are in: first get a new job, then resign.
I knew this bit of advice wouldn't be long in coming! And normally I would agree. In my case, the job is so draining, physically and emotionally, that it's finally time to leave, just for my sanity and health. Having to constantly defend my work strategy is taking its toll, especially when accompanied by insults and threats. This has already been a long time coming. In addition, it's common for me to work 12 hour days and it's completely disruptive to having a normal life. I do take comp time, though.

The job hunt is in full swing already. So far I'm looking to stay in Switzerland - I'm a C-permit - but will leave eventually if I don't find anything here.

Also, I suspect I'll need retraining. I need to be free to do this.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:54
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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My contract stipulates 2 months' notice.

Regarding the non-compete, if I found the right job then I would probably fight it since it's not possible to remain in my field otherwise. But there doesn't seem to be much by way of jobs to be had in my field, so this may not come up.
non-compete does not mean you can't work in your area. It can mean you are not allowed to poach customers from your employer's customer. Non-compete may also only concern a geographic delimitation. Nobody can prevent you from earning your life with your skills.
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Old 22.02.2015, 15:55
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

If you are really suffering from stress, burnout, fatigue and have physical and psychological symptoms, best to see a doctor.
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Old 22.02.2015, 16:03
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I find that putting together a budget/financial plan for the next 12-24 months before you leave helps alleviate a lot of the stress money-wise at least so that you know where you stand. That also gives breathing/headspace to think about other things.

No one should have to put up with an abusive work situation, but I would consider strongly coming clean with your boss' boss right before you hand in the letter. He/she seems supportive of you and may be able to change the situation for you (move you to a different group?) - he/she would probably not want to lose you for a number of reasons.
I'll need to scrounge up some income from somewhere to make ends meet. The first will be to rent out the extra bedroom I have at home. The rest will take a bit more creativity. A long, hard look at my finances has already been done. I definitely expect some hard times ahead.

I've spent this month doing everything in my power to find solutions with my boss and my boss' boss, in a non-conflictual way. I've also indicated that the current situation isn't sustainable. HR supports my efforts at communication. I've checked into changing departments - but I'm needed where I am. My boss' boss doesn't have the power to change the situation much. He and my boss aren't on the best of terms, either. I think I've given it my best shot and the result is a worsening relationship with my boss.

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non-compete does not mean you can't work in your area. It can mean you are not allowed to poach customers from your employer's customer. Non-compete may also only concern a geographic delimitation. Nobody can prevent you from earning your life with your skills.
The non compete is quite specific and it covers the main activity of my career. World-wide. Precisely for this reason I believe I could fight it if need be. Just that I don't think I'll get the opportunity.

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If you are really suffering from stress, burnout, fatigue and have physical and psychological symptoms, best to see a doctor.
Already did! A burnout is coming but I'm determined to avoid it. The doc talked at length with me about my ability to ward off stress. So far I'm managing, but the doc wants a follow up in a month. I got a full check-up and some vitamins, otherwise it's up to me to see that I sleep well at night.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 22.02.2015 at 16:22. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:36
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

It sounds like you're making the right decision! Don't worry, it's always a little scarier than it is in reality before the jump! I'm sure you will be much relieved as well, after.

If you own your home (or have rights to do so) - consider letting the room on Airbnb - I know people that make a good income doing this! Just an idea.
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Old 22.02.2015, 18:53
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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It sounds like you're making the right decision! Don't worry, it's always a little scarier than it is in reality before the jump! I'm sure you will be much relieved as well, after.

If you own your home (or have rights to do so) - consider letting the room on Airbnb - I know people that make a good income doing this! Just an idea.
Thanks! Scary? Yep.

Airbnb was my thought to start with, but a long term lodger would be less work and less risk, I think.
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Old 22.02.2015, 19:55
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

Before you quit, have you considered asking your boss' boss if there are any opportunities within the company or to report directly to him/her instead of your boss? It is rather costly for a company to hire a new employee, so they are usually willing to negotiate a little. I don't know about Switzerland, but I know in the US it costs a medium to large company about $8000 to replace an employee.
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Old 22.02.2015, 20:47
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

I've requested transferring where they would, in principle, be happy to have me. But since I'm needed more where I am this has been rejected. It wasn't, of course, in light of me resigning completely.
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Old 22.02.2015, 21:03
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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I've requested transferring where they would, in principle, be happy to have me. But since I'm needed more where I am this has been rejected. It wasn't, of course, in light of me resigning completely.
Maybe if you issue an ultimatum? That could possibly make them realise that they prefer to have you somewhere else than none at all. And since you decided to quit already, whats the worse that can happen?
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Old 22.02.2015, 21:26
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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Maybe if you issue an ultimatum? That could possibly make them realise that they prefer to have you somewhere else than none at all. And since you decided to quit already, whats the worse that can happen?
I believe the company has lost credibility and thus, OP won't favor this solution.

Interestingly enough, I've noticed people in similar situations as of lately.
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Old 22.02.2015, 21:45
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

I don't think of myself as the "ultimatum" type, although handing in a resignation is a sort of ultimatum, I guess.
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Old 22.02.2015, 22:00
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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If you are really suffering from stress, burnout, fatigue and have physical and psychological symptoms, best to see a doctor.
Good on you for not 'falling' for that route. It may sound 'easy' in the short term, but who wants to have their personal records tarnished forever (which is the reality out there, whatever some of you may think). Bravo and bonne chance.
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Old 22.02.2015, 22:09
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Re: Voluntarily quitting my job

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I don't think of myself as the "ultimatum" type, although handing in a resignation is a sort of ultimatum, I guess.
What do you think about offering it as a simple business proposition? Explain what you need in order for you to perform vs. the alternative of you quitting and having them find someone else? I think there is a way of doing that in a way to make you appear as the more responsible party. Explain how the current situation prevents you from performing according to how you are paid.

HR is suppose to be impartial in these situation, and to assist you in exercising rights. I'm sure they are aware there are bad managers out there. But you, HR and your next level manager still has to respect your manager's position nevertheless. If you offer a reasonable proposition, the onus is on your manager to respond in kind. I'm sure your manager will want to avoid looking like the cause of these problems.
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